Magazine article American Forests

Endangered Species Act: “Modernizing” Is Code for Dismantling

Magazine article American Forests

Endangered Species Act: “Modernizing” Is Code for Dismantling

Article excerpt

THIS FEBRUARY, the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works held a hearing on "Modernizing the Endangered Species Act (ESA)." Some senators came to the conclusion that the ESA is inherently broken because only a handful of species have been fully recovered and delisted. The reality is that 98 percent of species listed have been stabilized, kept from going extinct and placed on the long path to recovery.

The purpose of the ESA is to protect and recover imperiled species and the ecosystems upon which they depend. To recover a species often requires addressing the immediate threats and then rebuilding habitat within the ecosystem, a process that can take decades. The slow pace of recovery for many species is also hampered by lack of resources, with the ESA chronically underfunded given its ambitions goals. …

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